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How kindness spreads

How kindness spreads

Your Challenge: Perform random acts of kindness

Kindness requires action. Make performing kind acts for others an intentional part of your day. Let’s make it the norm in our communities and workplaces.

Kindness is a win-win for both the giver and receiver. It improves mental health and well-being for all. In fact, studies show that being kind—and even observing kindness in action—can create a ripple effect of happiness.

Why?

  • Kindness makes you happy. It can increase the production of the mood-boosting hormones: oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. These feel-good chemicals can help calm you down and make you feel more like smiling
  • It promotes feelings of love, social bonding and wellbeing Kindness releases oxytocin which is known as our ‘connection hormone’ or ‘hug drug’.  Oxytocin promotes social bonding, has an immediate calming effect, increases trust and strengthens our immune system
  • Kindness reduces stress When we feel connected and happy, our stress levels go down. Studies have shown a 23 per cent decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone) in people who are consistently kind
  • It lowers pain, naturally! Endorphins are released when we are kind. These are our body’s natural pain killer!

This challenge is meant to inspire kindness without expecting anything in return. Let’s all help spread happiness.

 Make it happen

Wondering how to make this challenge work? It works however YOU want it to work. No pressure. Do things as a team, with a friend, or do it alone. You can do all of the ideas, some of them or none of them, or choose your own! Acts of kindness don’t have to be big or showy. Just be kind for the sake of being kind, not because you want something in return. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Shout someone you don’t know a coffee
  • Offer to help someone who is struggling
  • Prepare a meal for someone struggling at work, or for that friend who’s just had a baby
  • Leave money at the vending machine so someone can enjoy a free treat
  • Leave a kind note for the cleaners – thanking them for their efforts
  • Say hello to a stranger and SMILE!
  • Pick up any litter you see on the ground
  • Talk to someone new today—a neighbour you haven’t met or someone standing in line with you!
  • Find an opportunity to give a compliment today
  • Give someone you pass in the street a compliment
  • Visit an elderly person
  • Give someone you care about an unexpected, big hug today
  • Sign up to volunteer for something
  • Gift some money to charity
  • Write a note of recommendation for a colleague or employee today
  • Write a positive comment or review on a business’s website or social media page
  • Carry someone’s bag
  • Give a friend or co-worker a book that has impacted you in a positive way
  • Send an encouraging email to a friend or co-worker
  • Chat to a homeless person (don’t ignore them), offer to take them to the supermarket to buy some food of their choice
  • Offer a listening ear to someone who is struggling
  • Offer to walk or exercise with a co-worker during a break
  • Make sure everyone in your meeting feels included and their opinion valued
  • Send flowers to someone. If you can’t send flowers, send them a text or email
  • Help someone brainstorm for a project they’re working on
  • Switch to cruelty-free products
  • Put away your phone while in the company of others
  • When others are gossiping, be the one to chime in with something nice.

Be kind to yourself

Self-kindness entails giving ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give a good friend. Individuals who practise self-compassion are more likely to feel positive and less depressed and anxious.

First published: Nov 2020

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